Being a self-employed service provider is perhaps one of the most gratifying ways to earn a living. You make money helping people better their lives. If you have excellent planning, research and financial skills, one possible and potentially lucrative service-based business is to provide customized business plans. Here’s how:
- Write your own business plan. How are you going to market your business online and off? What is your business vision? Who is your audience? Are you going to specialize in a particular industry or offer broad-based services? Are you going to provide 100% of the work or will you outsource some of it to experts? What are your skills, strengths and weaknesses?
- Decide how you’re going to charge for your services. Will you charge a flat fee based on the predicted work required to create a custom plan for your client, or will you charge by the hour? Much of your work will be one-on-one with your clients going over their budget, their business model, their target audience and their goals.
From that point, you will need to work on your own to conduct market research and prepare the financial statements and projections. This can be a lot of work and depending on the client and their business industry and model, the hours you put into a project may vary. Additionally, if you specialize in an industry you may be able to retain some information, for example market research, from project to project, making your turn around time much faster and more efficient.
- Determine your target market. Are you going to cater to small business owners? Brick and mortar retailers or internet marketers? Are you going to help a business owner choose a business name and domain name? Are you going to help them register their business and obtain the proper licenses or are you going to stick to creating the business plan only? Are you going to prepare business plans for new businesses seeking funding?
According to the Small Business Association, a comprehensive business plan covers the following topics:
The Business, including a description of the business, marketing, competition, insurance and operating procedures.
Financial data including loan applications, balance sheets and projections, and a detailed budget, along with supporting documents which include licenses, resumes, lease agreements, and tax returns.
That means you’ll need to be proficient with financial analysis and documentation, adept at market research and completely organized and efficient. Because many business owners have a dream but do not know what is entailed in creating a comprehensive business plan, being a business plan service provider is a wonderful and potentially lucrative service to offer.